sent in by Josh
Hello again. I'm currently stuck at a Christian college at the moment (transferring out at the end of the semester) and we are required to go to revival services this week. The minister has said some interesting things that I thought I would share with you all:
1. Yesterday, he presented the example of a person who lives an upstanding and moral life outside of the framework of Christianity. He said that these people live like this because they have God's laws in their hearts, even though they don't realize it. I disagree. I think that Christianity is not really unique in many of its major teachings. All of the major religions essentially share many teachings, such as not to murder, not to steal, not to lie, etc. I think now that the "creators" of these religions simply used logic and rationality to come up with moral laws that would benefit society and applied these as being divinely given. That's how you get Buddhists and Christians with many of the same teachings. The problem is when these "creators" toss in a bunch of nonsensical rules, like homosexuality being evil or not wearing clothing made of two different kinds of fabrics. These rules are impossible to rationally justify, but since there are so many other good rules, they get brought along and taught as dogma.
2. Today, he related a story about a man in a small Texas town where he used to preach that told him that he was an atheist. The guy told us that the man wasn't "really" an atheist. He was a pipe worker who smoked marijuana at times and was simply using his atheism to cover his sins because his pride didn't let him face God. I don't know what it is about some Christians who deny things they find uncomfortable. Perhaps they deny it because they don't want to face the concept that there is no god? Perhaps they have entertained such notions and want to keep them repressed by not acknowledging other people's rights to these beliefs?
3. Sadly, there was a "happy" ending to this story. The man called him one day because his wife (an upstanding member of the church) had left him and taken their two children. He was devastated and showed up at the church crying to this pastor. The pastor used this moment to "convert" him, claiming it was the will of god. I was appalled. He had clearly used the situation to manipulate this man, capturing him when his mind was at its weakest moment. The wife went through with the divorce even after learning that her husband had converted. She went to a different church. I found it convenient that he glossed over her divorcing him (not exactly "Christian" behavior). Basically, the atheist had been the only moral person in this entire tale!
Though I cannot wait to get to my secular college next year (Michigan State U.), I am somewhat glad that I went to a Christian college for two years. For one, I probably would not have given up on the religion had I not seen this level of hypocrisy. Secondly, I can take the messages of revival preachers and leave more sure of my anti-religious convictions!
Haha. Thanks for reading this, even if it was a bit plodding at times.
Became a Christian: 4
Ceased being a Christian: 20
Labels before: Church of the Nazarene, fundamentalist
Labels now: Agnostic
Why I joined: I was young and it seemed the correct thing to do
Why I left: Couldn't believe anymore
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)